News Analysis

Examining the Effects of Lockdown on Nigerians

Covid-19 has wreaked havoc worldwide, with over one million confirmed cases, while deaths are being recorded on a daily basis.

To curtail the spread of the pandemic, the federal and some state governments have been coming up with various measures, which include total lockdown in three states, partial lockdown in few states, with a ban on religious and social activities.

Also, dusk to dawn curfew was imposed in some states of the federation, where few cases of Covid-19 were recorded, while the large gathering of people is also banned.

Though it sounds so harsh, the lockdown order in Lagos and Ogun states as well as the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, remains the government’s most proactive step towards containing the spread of covid-19.

In China, the United States and England for instance, lockdowns worked to a large extent.

In China, in particular, the couple of weeks delay in imposing a lockdown by the country accounts for the importation of the virus into other parts of the world.  

According to research, if China had implemented its control measures a week earlier, it could have prevented a large percentage of all cases in the Asian country.

However, the government’s plans at cushioning the effects of the lockdown on Nigerians seem to be slow as this has caused the inability of citizens to comply with the lockdown, with some being arrested in parts of the country.

Though many Nigerians had stocked up their homes with food items in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak, the government must provide free electricity and water services to the people during this lockdown.

Some state governments had begun distribution of food packages to people of the state, efforts must be intensified at ensuring even distribution of the packages to virtually all indigent residents of their states.

The Ministers of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, and that of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed had at different functions said millions of Nigerians had benefitted from government’s palliative measures, but it is still like a drop of water in the ocean.

A large part of the population depends on a daily trade for survival; therefore, asking Nigerians to stay indoors for weeks in the name of lockdown will be so difficult and bring so much damage to their finances.

Though health is wealth, and effective lockdown will no doubt reduce the prevalence of Covid-19, but the government must as a matter of priority provide effective palliative measures for Nigerians.

Policymakers and other stakeholders must use the effects of the lockdown to address many challenges confronting the wellbeing of the masses, most especially the poor state of the healthcare system, epileptic electricity supply, provision of potable water and good road network.

Olaolu Fawole

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